Removing Tile Adhesive from Tile

by April Reinhardt
(last updated October 28, 2019)

Trying to remove tile adhesive from tile is easy to do if you're using fresh adhesive. Simply wipe away with a clean, damp cloth. But if you're trying to remove tile adhesive from tile that's been in place for a long time, that's an entirely different scenario. Short of chipping it away, risking damage to existing tile, you can use a solvent to loosen the adhesive. You can try myriad solvents, such as denatured alcohol and other paint strippers, but a very good solvent rated highly by consumers is named Citristrip. You can find it at your local home improvement or hardware store. If you can't find it in a store, perform an online search for it. It comes in gel form and is easy to use because it stays wet and active for up to twenty-four hours. What's better is that it has no fumes, thus making it safe for indoor use. Once you have it, follow these steps to remove tile adhesive from tile:

  1. Use latex or protective gloves, and eye goggles.
  2. Shake the product well and pour about two cups into a metal bowl.
  3. Using a brand-new paint brush, apply the product generously to the tile adhesive. The layer that you apply should be thick.
  4. Since the product will stay wet up to twenty-four hours, you can wait a few hours and allow the product to work. Allow the product to sit for no less than thirty minutes, however, before taking the next step.
  5. Test a small area for progress. Use a plastic spatula or plastic paint-stripping tool and scrape a small area. If the adhesive pulls away from the tile, then continue to scrape away the remainder of the product and adhesive. If the adhesive is pliable yet still adheres to the tile, allow the product to sit for a few hours.

Once you've removed all of the product along with the adhesive, make sure that you dispose of the waste by wrapping it first in old newspaper, and then within a thick garbage bag. Take care not to allow pets or children near the product while it is working, as it is an eye and skin irritant. As with all household chemicals, keep them out of the reach of children.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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